BACKGROUND: Detection of breast cancer coupled with mastectomy negatively affects patients' emotional state. The psychosocial effect is a distortion of body image, including decreased femininity, sexuality, and quality of life. Breast reconstruction can be performed at different times using different techniques, improving the comfort and quality of life of these patients.
METHOD: This was a retrospective study of 16 female patients who underwent breast reconstruction between October 2008 and October 2011. The following parameters were analyzed: age, complications, techniques, time of reconstruction, adjuvant therapies (i.e., chemotherapy and radiotherapy), and satisfaction with reconstruction. Data were collected through chart reviews, and patient satisfaction with the procedure was measured using a specific questionnaire.
RESULTS: Among the 16 patients, 15 (93.75%) reported being very satisfied, and the remaining 1 patient (6.25%) was somewhat satisfied; no patient reported dissatisfaction after reconstruction; the 1 patient who reported being somewhat dissatisfied had not completed all stages of breast reconstruction.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the small sample size, the results indicate that reconstruction positively affected the quality of life of patients undergoing mastectomy, regardless of the technique or time chosen for reconstruction, resulting in a high degree of satisfaction with a change in body contouring.
Keywords: Breast neoplasms. Mastectomy. Mammaplasty. Tissue expansion devices. Myocutaneous flap.